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Jaco joined Private Property in 2006 and have been working hard at developing a world class property platform. In 2008 and executive decision was made to start redeveloping the portal (which has been in use for more that 5 years). Both the interface and development platform was completely overhauled.

The site’s navigation and layout focused around the ability to search for property. A minimalist approach was taken to not distract the user from the main objective, which was to look for property.

Technically, the site was redeveloped and it was decided to transition from a Perl Active Script code base to a C# APS.NET platform.

Along with the site’s interface and platform overhaul, we also had to investigate and implement a new SEO strategy.

Objective

To be the dominant real estate portal in South Africa with a world class platform.

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Method

  • Benchmark tests between various code sources for best technical performances
  • YSlow speed and content evaluations
  • User Experience Tests – was able to run the new interface through a couple of tests before were able to release to live
  • SEO consulting was done in partnership with ClickMaven

Results

In the next 4 years, Private Property became the busiest property portal in South Africa (to nearly 800 000 unique browsers), hosts more than a 100 000 listings, won two South African Ecommerce Awards and became a benchmark in property search in South Africa.

After the initial launch, we also launched:

  • eListing facility – ability to load your own listing online
  • Property Index – the entire South African property database with estimated property valuations
  • Property Valuations – detailed property valuation reports
  • Estate Agents – Integrated estate agent listings on the portal

Message from the boss:

Jaco excelled at UX from day 1. He worked hard to build his expertise and was not scared to get his hands dirty. I think he can be a great asset to any web/software business.

Justinus Adriaanse
Private Property CEO (till March 2012)

Private Property website